Friday, December 31, 2004

Happy New Year!

I just briefly wanted to plug these sattelite images of the area hit by the tsunami. Quite tragic, please continue to contribute and pray for them.

On a much lighter note I hope everyone has a spectacular New Year's Eve :) Hopefully, this will be me tonight:

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Poor Loki Torrent

Last night I was flipping through the channels while taking a break from reading and the movie Loser, with Jason Biggs and Mena Suvari, was on so I decided to watch it while doing some other stuff. If you haven't seen it, consider yourself lucky! How is it that movies this bad actually get made? The only reason to watch is for Ms. Suvari, who ends up being rather bitchy to Mr. Biggs. If I wanted to watch a movie about real life senseless girls I'd walk outside and hit on a random cute girl! And the ending was totally ridiculous, but I guess that's what teen movies are for.

Enough ranting, onto a non-teen movie. The Fantastic Four movie is in production and Yahoo! Movies has a behind-the-scenes featurette on it. I think they're doing too many comic book movies at the same time, and I'm surprised they actually went ahead with Fantastic Four because it never really had a huge fan base. Any one else skeptical about the choice for Sue Storm? I love Jessica Alba as much as the next guy, but Sue Storm? Who knows, maybe it'll all come together to be something great. I've got enough comic book anticipation on my plate right now though with Batman Begins and X-men 3.

And now, the title issue: Loki Torrent has fallen in front of the MPAA's crosshairs :( Don't get me wrong, I'm no supporter of downloading movies. Not that I've never done it before, I just don't like to do it anymore (UGL has movies free anyway). However, torrents are a GREAT way for me to get TV shows that I missed or shows I can't watch in Austin because I don't wanna shell out for cable television for the grand total of 3 shows I'd actually watch. I download some regular tv shows out of convenience and video quality, but I rely on torrents for that! Hell I wouldn't mind the commercials being on them if that made it more legitimate, it's just so much easier. Some of you may know that Suprnova, the torrent giant, has been taken down by the big boys at MPAA already. However, Loki Torrent is willing to put up a fight and is asking for donations from its adoring public. If I wasn't a poor college student I'd help out, but until I graduate I'll have to stick with Torrent Reactor and

And for the sake of posting a techie article, here is an article about Micro$oft putting a pause on IE updates until Longhorn comes out. I realize that this isn't new news, but it's a sigh of relief for the good people who work on Firefox, which I'm using for this post right now. IE has its advantages, but I love tabs and Firefox is more reliable in general. M$ claims that they want to focus on stability for their OS with Longhorn right now, which is probably a good idea anyway.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Cellar Door

"These days children have to save themselves because their parents just don't get it." - Miss Pomeroy, Donnie Darko

So I saw Donnie Darko again last night (which is the movie the freaky bunny face on the left side is from) with my dad and it just reminded me all over again of why I love it. The cinematography, the strange dialogue, the subplots, the 80s tackiness, and time travel! For those of you who haven't seen it I highly reccomend it as my friend, Robert, did to me several months ago. We saw the Director's Cut, which has some key scenes added in but if you can't see that then rent the DVD and watch the deleted scenes and read the Philosophy of Time Travel off the DVD or off the website to make sense of it. I can't recall any other movie like this that I actually can't give a synopsis of! It's director/writer Richard Kelly's first film and it's a movie that you have to see more than once to really get a grasp of.

That quote I have listed above was actually cut from the original theatrical version, but Kelly says that he had the honor of meeting Francis Ford Coppola, who pointed to that line in the script and told him that that was what his movie was about. Coming from the world of Bellaire High School, it really seems true. Many parents seemed to either push their kids too hard or take their side on issues where their kid is obviously wrong, and all this pressure forces students to "cheat" the system to get out and into the college they want to go to.

That's not really the biggest issue today though given that the body count from the earthquake has been increased to over 70,00. Has there ever been a natural disaster more tragic since the turn of the century? Or actually, even since the ice age? I was thinking about it and I can't think of a day where more lives have been lost over one geographical issue. is offering itself as a liason to donate through the Red Cross and they've already raised over a million so feel free to donate and keep praying.

For all you 24 fans take solace in knowing that Jack Bauer, Tony Almeida, and Michelle are returning on January 9! I'm sooo excited!! 4 episodes in two days is going to be nuts, especially with my final on January 12, but I'll still manage to watch all of them. For the impatient, Herc put up some spoilers on AICN including the confirmation of Chloe, Chase, and the ever lovely Kim Bauer returning for Season 4! I'm skeptical of whether the show is going to stay as good as it has been in the past, but we'll have to just wait and see.

Almost done with this post, just wanted to mention that Roger Ebert placed Kill Bill: Volume 2 at number 2 on his list of the best movies of 2004! =D And finally, I'll leave you with a sad, but true, Garfield comic:

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Trailers and Outsourcing

First of all, a memorable quote from last night's Family Guy rerun:
"Aha! So they do make diapers for adults! That woman told me that I'd have to learn to use the toilet! Well it's made slaves of you all! Porcelain sloth feeding on other people's doo-doos and contributing nothing to society. *runs to the bathroom and points to the toilet* YOU GET A JOB!" - Stewie

My favorite character is Stewie, so many great lines from him! Well on a completely unrelated note: I had a strange dream last night (as I suppose most people do). I managed a date with some girl who apparantly I liked and she came to pick me up (imagine that!), but I was finishing up some work and then it took a while for me to change and by the time I was ready it was late and she left. So I went to the video store and the rest is really weird and vague. A random thing to mention, but it just stuck this morning for some reason, even though I'm not that sad that I'd actually keep doing work if a girl was outside waiting for me.

I wanted to plug some movies that I've been telling people about in recent weeks that are due next year:

  • Batman Begins - Wow. I cannot wait until next June because with Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Ken Wantanabe, and Katie Holmes, it'll be hard for this Batman prequel to miss.

  • Sin City - When you have Robert Rodriguez directing a movie based on Frank Miller's graphic novel, Sin City, with an list of A+ actors (including Jessica Alba, Bruce Willis, Rosario Dawson, Benicio del Toro, Elijah Wood, Brittany Murphy, Michael Madsen, you get the picture) only an act of God can make it fail.

  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - The trailer is really trippy, but it's Tim Burton portraying Roald Dahl's true vision with Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka. It all adds up to excitement and anticipation!

  • Ong Bak - The title supposedly means "daredevil", but regardless of the meaning it's the American debut of Tony Jaa. He does all his own stunts and the movie features Thai boxing, which is a particularly lethal form of martial arts. Thankfully, I was introduced to this movie by my room mate and I must say that it is kick ass!

  • Man of the House - This is totally different from the strange '95 film of the same title and was filmed at UT last Fall :) It may not be a AAA flick, but looks fun.

I also wanted to mention these book reviews I sighted on Slashdot of books on dealing with outsourcing. I find the take of books like these interesting because it seems like plenty of CS graduates are finding jobs and I have friends who are graduating next year with very handsome offers from companies like Microsoft (which, as much as many people may hate, takes good care of its employees). I still think that a graduate from UT or Stanford would outrank a fob from India, especially if they have a masters.

Which leads me to ponder, should I get a masters in CS when I graduate? Or maybe an MBA? I'm thinking of trying to get a job with a good company and then getting them to pay for it (I'm not gonna make my parents pay for it), but if anyone has any thoughts feel free to post a comment.

Monday, December 27, 2004

The Showdown in Silicon Valley

First of all, I want to express my deep condolences and shock for the victims and the families of the victims of yesterday's earthquake. There are no words in English to express remorse for the loss of more than 13,000 lives in one day, but if you're Christian I ask that you pray for them.

Onto the story of the day: Microsoft is challenging Google's chokehold on search engines! For many of you, this is old news. However, I found a really interesting article here about it. It's a long article, but that one page really exposes the meat of what they're trying to say.

If you scroll down to the bottom of that page you can see a timeline of companies that have stood up to Microsoft and been devoured, which is quite disheartening. I myself do not foster an avid hatred of Microsoft because I think that Bill Gates started out with an honest dream and he began with some incredible stuff like BASIC. However, I think somewhere down the line he lost sight of that and has become power hungry. I guess it makes sense to have so much ambition with so much money to back it, but I just really hope that Google wins this fight. Gates dropped out of college, but the guys who run Google either have PhDs or are in their doctoral program currently to be doctors of Computer Science from schools like Berkely! Maybe you don't need a fancy degree to be successful in programing, but to have the passion to do that really amazes and impresses me.

Can they beat M$? Possibly. The problem that the article points out is that the search engine world is so young that there still aren't standards, so if Google got its foot in the door there it would do just fine. But we're all familiar with Microsoft's cutthroat tactics, and that's what worries me. Google should be familiar with them though from seeing what IE did to Netscape and hopefully they'll persevere because I think Google is a nice, honest company with just great principles backing them up. Their employees get paid time to come up with their own little projects! They really encourage innovation and I think I'd like to intern there someday, but then I couldn't work for Microsoft! Oh well, good riddens.

Oh, and I wish that high video game sales were reflected in the salaries of video game programmers :( That'd be such a fun job! I'm not surprised that sales went up so much because my uncle tried to buy a PS2 early last week and no store in Houston, and even many big online retailers, had it in stock!

Sunday, December 26, 2004


Ok so this I'm testing out something I've seen quite often in the computer science community: a blog of my thoughts on computers and trends in computing as well programming. I will also likely post funny stuff and cool trailers I find on the web. I don't want this to be a blog about what I do from day to day, just a place for me to share my thoughts on what's important. However, I may on occasion put up pictures from life that are fun or interesting.

Hope everyone had a great Christmas!! :)